Grazhir :: Crossover :: FeS2 :: 23

23

11102014-24052015

“If I’m alive and well, will you be there holding my hand? I’ll keep you by my side with my superhuman might.” — 3 Doors Down, Kryptonite


“As hilarious as this is, I have to wonder if there’s something else,” he said, eyeing Derek.

Derek shifted again (giving Harry the impression of a naughty school boy) before saying, “I was wondering if, at times, you would be interested in helping out in other dimensions when problems arise.”

He sat up straight, a bit in shock at the very idea. “Help?” he asked, looking for clarification. “And sit down, damn it. Staring up like this is making my neck hurt.”

Derek seemed taken aback by the order, but did as asked, floating gracefully into the companion chair to Harry’s own, though why he had originally put in two he could not remember.

“Not in an instance such as your original dimension,” Derek said. “You left that place and it would be cruel of me to even suggest it. Some dimensions, however, produce some interesting situations. Now, under normal circumstances you would see an agent of mine when you witnessed someone dying, but given that those you have witnessed of late were ones you requested I took care of them myself. These agents take on different forms depending on the dimension and the makeup of the belief systems of the sentient beings.”

His eyes crossed trying to figure that one out. “So, like, a Christian here might see an angel—assuming they could see them at all? Or the personification I’m used to hearing about, which is what you usually look like.”

Derek nodded. “But not all dimensions have a race with belief in Yahweh or God, or Amaterasu, or Odin, and so forth.”

“Or magic?” he asked.

“Or magic of the sort you are familiar with. Or beings.”

“But death is a constant. Okay, but what do you mean by help? Me actually jumping dimensions? Wouldn’t that screw up what I’m doing here? And what about Tom? I can’t just—” He stared at Derek, brows drawing together.

“Yes, I could facilitate a few changes there, if you truly wished it,” Derek admitted. “It is entirely possible that he will become . . . resentful, otherwise.”

Harry nodded. “The power imbalance.”

“As to helping, allow me to give you an example. In more than one dimension there is a similar but not identical Earth, where angels and demons and reapers are wandering around. The magic of that world generally consists of humans who make deals with demons to gain ‘magical’ abilities, at the cost of their eventual ‘home’ in Hell, or those who have become werewolves through a cannibalistic process. There are vampires and ghosts and various other beings, but most of them are hostile to humans. In some of those dimensions there is a fight between Michael and Lucifer.” Derek paused.

“Yeah, angels, got it.” Harry waved his hand.

“Lucifer wants to destroy the world and Michael wants to allow the apocalypse to start so he can defeat his brother.”

“Uh huh,” he said, unimpressed. It was funny how one’s world view changed upon becoming immortal, and crazy. “And prove what a big stud he is. So?”

“In most of those dimensions I really can’t be bothered to care,” Derek said, “but every so often I run across one where a pissing match would negatively impact someone of importance, or someone who will become important.”

“Which explains why you might wish to meddle,” he replied. “Or get me to do it. Is that example real?”

“Oh yes. In order to effect the apocalypse Lucifer has to gain the cooperation of the four horsemen.”

“But I’m conveniently your master, so you don’t have to listen to him. But before we get further into that, let’s get back to Tom.”

“All right,” Derek said. “Through you I can give him certain powers, with your permission, subject to immediate revocation should he go, as you might put it, batshit insane.”

Harry spun the index and middle fingers of his right hand in circles impatiently.

“Languages, essential immunity to death, morphing, and shifting, plus a variant on the wand and cloak.”

He arched a brow at those last two.

“Meaning his wand would be unbreakable and always return to him, and he could use true invisibility, though you would always be able to see him, as would I, since it is not the actual cloak. Only you can use that and he would remain incapable of seeing you while you were cloaked.”

He considered that for a bit, then said, “And the telepathy?”

Derek nodded. “Though I don’t expect he would use it for much more than you do. Well, perhaps to scare his minions. There is no reason for any of them to know the extent of the ability aside from possibly coming to the conclusion that he has learned to project thoughts via some application of Legilimency.”

“Okay, let me ask him to come here, then,” he said, then sent, ‘Tom, would you be so kind as to join me in my rooms? I have a gift for you.’

‘. . . All right.’

He flipped his wand back toward the door to open it and waited. Voldemort swept in minutes later, jerking to a stop on seeing Derek, but recovering quickly enough. Derek got up and waved Voldemort to the seat, then moved to stand at a point equidistant from both men.

“Derek and I have been chatting about, well, a certain imbalance, amongst other things,” he said, smiling inwardly when Voldemort perked right up without visibly doing so. “This probably would have come up anyway, but since Derek has asked if I might like to give him a hand in the odd alternate dimension it seems a whole lot more relevant now. So.” He quickly explained, watching as his partner practically burned with interest. “Are you interested?”

Voldemort gave him one of those looks, then nodded. “Yes,” he said simply.

“If you would, Derek?”

Death nodded and glanced at Voldemort with glowing eyes. His partner went through a full body shudder, then settled down, his eyes a bit dazed.

“So, getting back to this helping bit,” he said. “We are kind of busy here.”

Derek nodded again. “You could think of it as having a bit of a holiday on occasion. It depends on whether or not the situation appeals to you and how involved you’d want to be. You may as well assume that the number of dimensions is infinite, so it is not as though it is essential for anyone to meddle. There are simply times when I feel that desire, to preserve something special.”

Harry narrowed his eyes at Derek. “And would any of those dimensions happen to include a me that could use the meddling hand of Death?”

Derek nodded. “I can think of one right now coming up in the near future that will fall apart should your counterpart not be given a helping hand.”

“Any other examples?”

Derek appeared to consider, then said, “In one dimension there is a situation where the reapers—sometimes called Shinigami, or Death Gods—have become ridiculously bored and like to meddle in the affairs of the living. They use books much like you do. In fact, it was what I created for you that gave me the idea.”

His eyes crossed again. Death obviously did not operate with the same connection to “time” as mortals.

“Correct,” Derek said.

“Every time you introduce a concept like that I can feel my sanity fracturing that much more,” he complained.

A grin seemed to appear from under that hood. “Sometimes one of the Shinigami becomes so bored they allow their Death Note to drop to Earth to be found by a mortal. Their books have clearly defined rules to them, written inside, and the moral who finds it learns of them that way. However, by taking possession they also invite the near constant companionship of that Shinigami.”

“I can almost see where this is going,” Voldemort said dryly. “Aside from going just a bit mad over the situation, plus from the power they’ve found. . . . But why would Death Gods need the books? Why not just take people when they die?”

“Ah,” Derek said. “They are not gods, obviously, but agents of mine. They have a . . . limited tour of duty, shall we say, but the Death Notes can be used to extend that period by taking the lives of humans before their time. The balance of time goes to the Shinigami.”

That did not exactly answer the question, Harry thought, but was nevertheless interesting. “If they’re so bored why would they bother to extend their duties?”

Derek tilted his head. “Does being bored make you wish to die?”

He snorted; point taken. “Okay, so in one of those dimensions there may be a situation with a mortal holding a Death Note.”

“Yes. Again, normally I would not care, but in a particular dimension is a soul I would much like to see continue, though you may have other ideas once you were to see the situation in full.”

“Getting back to my earlier question,” he said, “I guess it wouldn’t be much of a burden if things were slow and we treated it like a holiday. You would facilitate the jumps because I can’t see me coming up with another ritual every time and the variables involved are staggering. All I was trying to do was go back, but you’re talking about pinpoint insertion.”

Derek nodded. “Yes, master.”

He eyed Voldemort for a moment, then sank into consideration of the request again. A part of him was wondering what he could get in return for agreeing, though another part of him was forced to compare that desire to the many advantages he already had by being the Master of Death—and wasn’t it a bit selfish and greedy to want more?

“I can arrange for you two to return mere seconds after you depart if that would be preferred,” Derek offered.

Harry eyed his partner again, wondering what he thought of things. Voldemort eyed him back, neither of them trying to get into each other’s minds (not that Voldemort could), and eventually said, “I think it might be interesting. We are essentially immortal and while our minds might be able to adjust and step out of the confines of a mortal mind, we will not forever be doing what we are now. Meddling in other dimensions might well be extremely enjoyable, and we can do things Death should or could not do.”

He grinned, nodding. “Just think, Tom, we could fuck with people’s heads in innumerable dimensions! Possibly arrange for a multitude of freakishly bizarre accidents!”

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It finally happened.

He and Tom had spent the last five years working on the exodus in and around making sure things were running properly on Ophiuchus. He had built and maintained a rather distant relationship with his mother and sisters, not that he really expected anything more. The two of them had also been taking monthly “holidays” at Derek’s behest. Some of them lasted all of a few hours, while others lasted weeks or even months. But as they always returned a few seconds after they left it had virtually no impact whatsoever on their self-assigned duties as sovereigns of their world.

As more and more Neutrals and Darks (and even open-minded Lights) had emigrated, from all over the Earth, Dumbledore had become suspicious, worried, and pleased, all at the same time. Those who remained behind were either too psychotic, close-minded, complacent, or members of Dumbledore’s Cult of Personality.

And it finally happened.

Some damn fool muggle-hater used his wand in London, in front of a whole mess of cameras. True, it was twilight, and the quality of the cameras wasn’t the best, but it started people watching. They started to amass a number of pictures and videos of magic being used. It began being featured in newspapers, on the radio, the television, and the internet. The muggle police could not do much about the occurrences, not unless they happened to be right there at the time. And even then, there started to be evidence of those same officers suddenly knowing nothing about what they had witnessed.

Average citizens were prepared and armed, even if not with something like guns. The magicals stupid enough to think they could get away with magic in the muggle world found out that Tasers and similar weapons worked just fine on them. Muggle law enforcement wondered about those damn sticks, and then didn’t when Ministry Obliviators swept through, and then did again when the computer records were looked through. How had they forgotten? Where had their prisoners gone?

Harry glanced up reflexively after reading the latest imported newspaper. ‘Derek? Just to clarify, did I find and remove every single book from Ae’gura? Anything and everything at all that could in any way give hints as to the descriptive and linking books?’

‘You did, yes. You even found that hidden cache under the Guild of Writers.’

Derek did not ask why and Harry knew why not. After all, Death could read anything in Harry’s mind that he wanted to. He turned to Tom with a sigh. “Well,” he said, tapping the newspaper. “I am thinking that maybe it’s time to put Ae’gura back to use.”

His partner arched a brow at him before glancing at the paper. “A fall back location for the idiots on Earth?”

“Essentially. I checked with Derek and he’s confirmed that we got everything that could in any way suggest where we went or how we did it out of that cavern.”

“And the tunnels?”

He blinked and glanced up again.

‘The tunnels are fine. The only thing there are the marks you yourself left before you started mapping.’

“Okay,” he said. “The tunnels are fine. But that does bring up a point. If we offer Ae’gura to the remnants, do we mark the way, or do we let them bumble around on their own to find the city?”

Tom looked conflicted. There was a long silence before he finally spoke. “If the path is marked it would allow them to find the city more quickly, true. But if the muggles ever managed to find out where they went. . . .”

“Well, a language the muggles wouldn’t know? Though I’m having a little trouble imagining Dumbledore as a damn tour guide because we did it in Mermish or something. Except the part where they don’t have a written language. Sounds? Tones? I mean, we could use something that in theory only someone magical could see, but if the muggles get far enough ahead they’d be able to eventually sense that, too.”

“Last names of famous people?” Tom suggested. “Like Waffling, Bagshot, Jigger, and so on.”

He looked at his partner a bit suspiciously. “Are those surnames of people who wrote books used at Hogwarts?”

Tom nodded. “Runes would be useless. Even muggles know of those. Hardly anyone knows Gobbledygook, written or spoken. House symbols would be way too obvious and there are only four of them. Even with this idea it’s limited by the fact that all the names are from English books, but I suppose every group going in could have at least one Briton in it to puzzle out the way.”

He nodded slowly. “I suppose we could also possibly use spell names, but anyone familiar with Latin might get ideas from those. Other famous names, certainly. We also need to get the Ministry to break their side of the treaty with the goblins so the Host can emigrate. I just know the shit is going to hit the fan and I want them off Earth. Even if half or more of the remaining magical population hikes off to Ae’gura, you just know the fuckwits of the British Ministry are going to stick around thinking they’ll be just fine, so we can’t count on there no longer being a ministry and the treaty falling apart due to one of the signatories no longer existing.”

“I agree. We should talk to them about that, warn them, and put the plan into action. Then, of course, they can evacuate.”

In the end they found something better for the markers. Derek suggested a compound they could use as a kind of invisible ink to paint symbols or runes with, on the correct doors. The trick was that any group making the journey would need a specific kind of plant with them, one which within a certain range of the compound would chime softly. It required no magic whatsoever, so even a child could be guided with one.

The tricky part would be the base of the Great Shaft, where Harry had originally had to puzzle out how to continue on. That far down it should be more than safe to use magic, so anyone going would simply have to be warned to “lift the lift”. Beyond that point, in the next set of tunnels, the compound and plant combination should again suffice, though the lift itself at the base of the shaft could be painted to make the plants react.

Once any of them got down to the city, well, they could figure it out on their own. They weren’t leaving any linking books for any of them to find. When he or Tom needed to visit Earth they would just have to link in to some other bizarre location, such as the Amazon, and maybe with Death’s power protecting the location even from muggles. ‘Hopefully there will come a point where we won’t need to ever come back,’ he thought. ‘I am not about to put myself out too far for a bunch of imbeciles who were too stupid to wake the fuck up and come with us in the first place.’

He realized that thought had been a little loud when Tom snorted in amusement.

“The question is,” Tom said, “do we just send the man a letter or visit him in person?”

“How about we spy on him first?” he suggested.

They determined that Dumbledore, while old, was still reasonably sane and rational. Or at least, rational enough to do the job. With that having been established they put together a package of muggle newspapers with prominent stories regarding the losing battle of the secrecy of magic, and included a letter. It basically demanded that Dumbledore pay attention, read the damn papers, and be prepared to lead the remnants into hiding, plus a bare explanation as to how to get to the city. It closed off with, “We’ve already done our part in saving the magical population, those bright enough to see far enough ahead to realize what was coming, the inevitable clash between magic and technology. You get to deal with those who remained. Farewell.”

— “So this is the end of the story.” — Goyte, Eyes Wide Open